If your baby seems out of sorts after the holidays, fret not, it is possible to help them sleep well again.
Did you have fun over the holidays? Good!
Now that it is over, are you ready for some routine? I got you!
Do you find yourself saying this?
“We just needed to make it through the holidays and now we are ready to make a plan for sleep.”
Often, when there is a lot of activity going on and when many of the sleep rules are bent, baby’s sleep will regress during times like the holidays.
If your little one seems out of sorts, fret not, it is possible to help them sleep well again.
The following are some suggestions for noting their sleepy cues and also helping them to re-establish good sleeping habits and get back on track. These can be used for both pre-bedtime as well as pre-nap time routines.
Be sure to watch for signs that your baby is giving you that he/she is getting tired. If you time it right, you will put them down in the right window when their body is physiologically primed to fall asleep, making it much easier to go down. If you push them too far, they will often struggle to go down or pop up soon after falling asleep.
- rubbing eyes or nose
- red eye brows
- stiffness or arching body
- fussing, whining, crying
- seeking comfort sucking or feeding
- gaze avert
Later signs of tiredness include:
- lots of yawning
Tips for Re-Establishing a Sleep Routine:
A successful sleep routine is a daily routine in which the baby transitions from one activity to the other in the same order each day will help a baby understand that it’s bedtime.
- Begin a consistent and regular sleep routine that involves low lights, quiet voices and quiet play. This can be a bath, a massage, or simply reading quietly in his or her room. While you are doing this, please be sure to take some slow deep breaths yourself as your ability to calm and get present will send signals to your little one that will help him or her to self regulate and calm their central nervous system.
- If you have a little one who is at the age where he or she understands your words well, you can also begin to talk to them about the things that are coming up for the sleep routine. "First we are going to take a bath, and then we are going to read some books and then it is night-night time."
- Be sure to re-establish the sleep routine in a way that has your child going into his/her crib drowsy but awake (Tip: see my video here to see what this looks like IRL) so that they learn to put themselves to sleep using their own self soothing mechanisms.Studies show that routine gives infants and toddlers a sense of security and stability and reduces challenging pre bedtime behaviors.
- Be consistent. More than anything this will set you up for success in getting back on track.
Over the holidays, your little one got used to late nights, lots of visitors and festive events. With this often comes later bedtimes and falling asleep in the car seat or in someone’s arms. Once this happens, babies begin to rely on that method in order to fall asleep. Now that you are re-establishing a healthy sleep routine, it is important to be calm and consistent about helping your little one self soothe and put herself to sleep.
This new routine can take 3-5 nights before seeing results so stay with it and remember that your little one knows how to sleep and can do it again.
If you have any questions or wish to learn about how to sleep train, please don't hesitate to call or email with questions.
Now is the time to get back on track!
P.S. You are not alone
And what’s more is that you are not meant to figure this out on your own. I offer a gentle approach to infant and child sleep that is flexible, yet consistent, research-based, and most importantly nurturing and connected. Please reach out to me! I offer a range of services from classes to 1:1 consultations. Parents who take a class or work 1:1 with me report that they now feel prepared to:
- Trust their intuition
- Read baby’s cues and understand their temperament
- Set their days and nights up for success
- Establish healthy sleep habits for baby